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tv   [untitled]    July 1, 2011 3:30am-4:00am PDT

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fis last year. we added a wireless telecommunications facility fee and payment plan feet. section 3122 allows the controller's office to adjust the ceqa fees, and that section was not amended to include those two new fees, so this proposed legislation makes that correction. additionally, it applies the cpi for next year. item seven is amending the planning code fees. primarily, this ordinance proposes to put a cap on fees that are based on construction costs so that the initial intake fee does not exceed 50% of the cost of the construction. this is primarily to address small, over the counter projects where the fee oftentimes is equal to or sometimes even greater than the cost of the construction project. and then also, it applies to 2.07 cpi increase.
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supervisor chu: thank you very much. any questions from the committee on these items? why don't we go to the budget analyst report? >> madam chair, members of the committee, i believe the department has stated that they concur with the $113,608, and i have no other comments. supervisor chu: thank you. before we move forward, i would like to take action on items 6 and 7, which are the fee updates. these would allow for the cpi adjustments. we do need to take public comment on items 6 and 7, so why don't we open these items up for public comment? are there any members of the public who wish to speak on items six, which pertains to administrative code at the updates, or items 7, planning code fee that date? seeing none, public comment is
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closed on these items. if we could move items 6 and 74 to the full board. it will join with the remaining budget on july 12. can we do that without objection? thank you. given that the department is in agreement with budget analyst recommendations, we can take those without objection. that will be the case. thank you very much to the planning department. our next department is the assessor/recorder's office. >> good morning. unfortunately, we were not able to reach agreement with the budget analyst. we have a number of items where we do have significant concerns regarding the potential revenue indication. every single one of our staff has a revenue number tied to them. just to go through the cuts, i
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think this is an order. there's a proposal to cut a supervisor of fraser. we have two teams that we have and two supervisors. each supervisor is about to supervise about eight people, which is already higher than normal. usually, it would be six. to the budget analyst for roses to have one person supervise 16 people, which we find would be, frankly, impossible. the teams are supposed to be working on -- it is actually appeals. we believed it would be impossible to guarantee the quality control or really to approve the work in any sort of timely fashion, given the situation. there's also a proposal to cut our temporary funding, which has historic we help us deal with workloads, flows up and down, as you can imagine with any sort of temporary situation. we were able to bring in temps
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last year to bring in -- to deal with the surge. we imagine we might see a surge coming this year as well. we will not know until after the fiscal year begins how to deploy those resources. there is a recommendation for i believe a 75% cut, and we believe they would have roughly a $4.9 million revenue impact here last year, the terms were primarily deployed as clerks. we determined there is about 15% deficiency given by appraiser because there's an assumption that it is the clerical staff, that they are non-revenue- generating, which is not the case in our department. appraisers historic we have had to pick up a recent low of clerical work, so we deployed clerical staff last year to help assist appraisers in becoming more efficient. the other proposal was to cut a limited duration auditor.
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we have two auditors we are hiring to work at all the tenant improvements in san francisco. there is billions of dollars of assessments up to do. we had two people there, a team of two cut down to one, and we believe there is about a $4 million in fact for that honor to position. additionally, the last position, i believe, was 40 to 61, which is an entry level appraiser. we also have concerns there because we estimate that as about a $1.6 million impact. again, as a reminder, we were able to exceed all our revenue is projected in each of the last three revenues, and we believe our revenue assumptions are relatively reasonable and conservative, so we do have concerns that whatever cuts may be coming would be penny wise and pound foolish and that there would be revenue impacts with
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each of those positions. happy to take any questions. supervisor chu: thank you. are there any recommendations that you are in agreement with? >> yes, i believe we did have [inaudible] >> they disagreed with all of them. >> oh, did we? >> actually, we did agree to the interim exception recommendation that we hire instead of -- instead of hiring in july, we would hire in october, so we did agree to those. supervisor chu: do you know what the value of that recommendation was? >> we will compute that. >> to put our recommendations
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into context, i want you to note that we work with all of the department's. last week, we recommended to you a reduction of $1,859,705. that was our recommendation to you last week. this week, we are recommending a total of $584,211. in other words, we attempted to work with the department in any way we could insignificantly, as you can see, when from $1.5 million to $584,000. second, i want to point out that we just issued a report at the request of the board regarding a review of the impact of new positions on the 29-2010 access report, and this is on page 39 of our report -- 2009-2010 assessor report. it stated that the assessor should develop productivity measures including all
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functions and functions by complexity, a real property division staffing plan should be developed to meet short-term and long-term property assessment assessment appeals workload, including the proper mix of temporary and permanent staff, and, supervisors, and methodology for estimating revenues based on the staffing and productivity measures. while it is true that the controller makes some estimate of revenues, this department does not have detailed documentation to support their revenue estimates. we recommended that the assessor submit productivity measures pertaining to property assessment and assessment appeals functions to the budget and finance committee on or before october 1, 2011, prior to the higher 10 limited 10-year positions not approved as interim exceptions. briefly, i would like ms. campbell to briefly summarize
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the disagreements, the recommendations that the assessor disagrees with any basis for our recommendations for your consideration. >> good morning. first of all, to answer the questions on the value of the interim exceptions [inaudible] i did not have a page number -- page 42 of our report. supervisor chu: i think supervisor kim would like to repeat the number. >> $53,871. two interim exceptions that were not approved and which they are now agreeing to. in terms of our recommendation, the components -- real property auditors to look at tenant improvements -- we are recommending one of the two based on what we perceive to be their case load and the need for this new function.
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probably the more significant recommendation is the requested 17 new positions to work on the assessment appeals. we look at the backlog and the case -- caseload change year-to- year. we did acknowledge that there was an increase and a need for more staffing. we are recommending 15 of those positions. seven of them are positions that are working on a temporary capacity that will now become permanent. it limited to 1000 hours 2010 s 2011, but at permit physicians, they will be able to work more hours. -- permanent positions. the recommendations are based on what they were able to achieve based on workload in the prior
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fiscal year and what we anticipated in terms of their workload and staffing in the coming fiscal year. >> i just want to emphasize we are recommending a large number of new positions for this department. but our recommendation is to prune back some of the positions, and we believe we are justified in this recommendation. supervisor chu: thank you. i wonder if the assessor would like to respond to those. >> the analyst is correct that we do have very detailed information regarding how much work our staff produces. again, just to clarify, in terms of revenue, the revenue impact is squarely based on something which is out of the control of our office. the revenue impact really is based on when the previous owner purchased or sold the property.
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for example, we could reassess a $1 billion a piece of real estate in san francisco, but if that building was sold the previous year, there would be almost a negligible revenue impact. if, however, the building were sold 30 years ago and was on our assessment roll for a $10 million versus $1 billion, there would be a significant revenue impact. we believe it is the job of the controller's office to assess real estate, and will work closely with them to estimate revenue. we have a very detailed plan as to the number of people, given the huge appeals workload -- again, i apologize that i did not have the chart in front of me, but we have 6000 appeals in front of us, which is triple the number of appeals from the dot- com bust.
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we estimate a couple hundred million dollars of revenue at stake. we are recommending staff to properly defend -- we actually think the number of staff is actually -- we know it is larger for the city, but we estimated we would need upwards of close to 60 to 80 more staff to clear out our backlog as well as defend all these appeals. given the staffing in our organization, we would have no way to absorber that large number. so what we came out with was a plan to sort of attack that situation. really, the number of new people in our office is athlete in terms of absorption, not on the end of 17 because many of them are currently temps that we would want to make limited duration staff.
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we're looking at hiring what is fairly in line with what we have been given in the past, which is why the mayor approved the proposal. we are again a concern by the significant revenue implications. i would give you, just to address the issue regarding our production -- you can see here, we have very detailed production in terms of how many changes of ownership, how many parcels are cut, how many new construction there are common to construction done as well as assessment appeals, but every single staff person in our real property division. we also have that -- that was the monthly basis for april 2010. we also break it down in terms of production for every day that is worked so that we can account for people's time off and sick leave, so we know roughly how many appraisals and how many terms of ownership can
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be done on a daily basis. based on that, we have charts to give us an idea of where people are moving in terms of relative to their peers. obviously, the commercial property does take significantly longer. there are significantly greater dollars at risk. given the appeals situation, i think we have come up with a plan to properly defend the city's position. i think right now is when we are starting to see a significant amount of commercial property appeals coming in because we think that is extremely critical. at this point, we are going to withdraw our request for even additional people -- we're going to see if we can get additional resources how we can factor that in and come back to you in the
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fall based on how things have gone the previous three months. i am happy to answer any questions you may have at this point. supervisor chu: thank you. budget analyst? >> yes, a couple more points in terms of clarifying our recommendation. what we are recommending against is one real property appraiser and one single property appraiser. rationale for the principal property appraiser is the supervisory functions that review work, we are recommended for one additional, which would give them 70 reassessments caseload -- which would give them seven reassessing the caseload. we thought it was actually quite reasonable. the other that we recommended
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against was a lower-level position, and that was based on an understanding that -- looking at what they actually achieved with seven positions limited to 1000 hours each, and the coming year will become regular positions that will not any longer have that limit. we felt that given the caseloads we were able to process in the current year that that was adequate. those are the main two things. the other thing, on the productivity measures, what changes are presented you with something we looked at. i know this is a division working on developing productivity measures. our recommendation has been that they need to refine those and give weight to the relative complexity of the very same tasks that the real property appraisers take on. when we were looking at these budget recommendations, they did give us some numbers to work with, but they are still very preliminary and do not give a very complete or final assessment of how each position
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would process caseload. supervisor chu: thank you. quick question for the assessor, with regard to temporary salaries, can you speak to that? the budget analyst recommendation suggests moving the salary line item from 300,000 to $80,000, said that as a fairly significant drop in savings. >> the temps offer a very critical position. we have to at times react to the real-estate market and as a digest, we have to pick up projects. couple of years ago, when it crashed, we had to do what was called informal reviews, and we did 20,000 informal reviews at the drop of a dime. that would have been impossible to do without any kind of temporary funding because we were able to bring in additional clerical resources to assist with that function. again, what we did this last year was, given the huge spike in appeals, we were able to move
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some of those resources into defending appeals and working primarily with appraisers to help take clerical work loads of their plate. also, clerks in our office are not typists or people who are secretarial. they handle some of the most complex pieces of work. for example, we have clerks in our office to determine whether or not a change in ownership is a sensible or not, which is actually a fairly legal determination, and that is an involved job that has happened over the last 10 years. when you look at the temporary funding, people often assume that if we have appraisers, that falls in there, but if we did not have people can determine whether it is accessible or not, it cuts off a very important function. the funding we ask for is for a specific project. it has nothing to do with our
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ability to absorb or not as a comes in during the fiscal year. we think temporary funding is extraordinarily critical for that. that is why we also estimated, again, given that we were able to deploy last year to help appraisers, we achieve 50% efficiency, and with estimated there is almost a $5 million revenue impact with that. i would like to correct, given the cut regarding the supervisor, it would mean that one person would have to supervise 16 people. that would be the implication. one person would be supervising 16 people, which would be untenable. we would not be able to produce the amount of work that we have promised. regarding the -- supervisor chu: with regards to that point in terms of the supervision, generally in your department, what has been that ratio?
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>> historically, the ratio is one to six. we pushed it this last year. we are about 1 to 7. for these teams, it would be one to eight. we have pushed that as far as we probably can. in terms of the task complexity, while we do not have a specific point break up, what we do is separate out the task complexity based on job classification. the junior appraisers have significantly less complex work than the senior appraisers, so when we compare them, we compared to your appraisers with each other and senior appraisers with each other, so we are looking at production. we obviously do not expect the same level of production for doing commercial property work as we do from junior appraisers to residential work, but the production numbers are very different. that is how we account for it. we did not but dollar figures to it because it is not our job. it is our job to fairly and
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accurately assess real estate. how much money it brings in is up to much wiser people than me to estimate. >> you asked specifically about temporary salaries and you sure that we show a significant recommended cut -- cut. in what ms. campbell to show you how much of an increase the department is getting. you only see here the recommended cut. >> the assessor did request an increase from $175,000 in temporary salaries to $300,000 in the current year. reason was 7 positions currently being paid by temporary salaries will be moved to regular status and do not need to be paid by temporary salaries. also, there is a bit of a difference of opinion about the clerical positions. the number of positions in the budget matches what is in on the
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chart, and my understanding is since they are paying clerical, temporary has some what to do with the department of human resources connecting classification studies so that they have not been hiring permanent into those positions, but there are permanent salary is attached to those positions. that was some of our consideration. i also think we have a difference of understanding about the supervisory level about the principle real property appraiser. they do actually vary from about 68, and adding on these new positions, including one additional principal real property appraiser -- they do actually vary from about six to 8. supervisor chiu: thank you for your presentation today. the column you have a run revenue lost due to proposed cuts -- the controller certified
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that these are moneys we can expect to see if week with dispositions, right? or am i mistaken? i just want to get a sense of how certain these revenues are based on what level of staffing we have. >> given the level of staffing proposed in the mayor's budget you have before you, we have certified an additional approximately $10 million in property tax revenues used to balance the budget. certification -- we do not endeavor to try to tie different portions within the package. it was more a review of the whole band of component pieces of it, so these numbers are somewhat different than the probably moresecondly, the lange difference that occurs between the u.s.s.r. and those of us predominantly working -- the
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assessor and those of us working predominantly on the income-tax. i imagine the numbers you have before you -- is our property tax monies that go to bart and the community colleges and other special revenue bonds. that may be part of the difference as well. supervisor chiu: thank you. >> you see not only our ability to produce the amount of revenue promised, but to exceed that. while there are cuts -- it appears to be a modest cut. what we have been able to do in the past is to do tenfold for each of those possessions -- positions. do you really want to give up $5 million, $10 million, $20 million that we are putting on the table. we have exceeded our budget
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expectations. we completely agree that the comptroller -- controller's desire to be accurate, at times conservative, because we would never want to be wrong in the other direction. this is why we are fighting for our planned. this is a plan that we believe will bring in the money for the city and we are defending accurately our assessments. almost all the commercial properties in the downtown area are coming before us. hundreds of millions of dollars for reassessment. we are trying to defend those numbers accurately. supervisor chu: thank you. with regard to the temp
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salaries, how are we in spending that down? >> we have managed to spend almost all events. we had an unprecedented level of the peer review, and that pretty much totally exhausted its. supervisor chu: thank you. ok, colleagues, and interested in hearing your point about. given that the budget does assume a certain level of revenue, having made investments in positions, i think that is something we should consider, if we were to look at the impact on our revenue numbers, but should we take these cuts? i do think with regard to our supervisor wrote -- supervisory position, i would be willing to support the continuation of that position. what i would say though is,
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given the budget analyst has recommended the later hiring date of some of these positions, i would definitely agree with that. i do not think there is any way we would get anybody in those positions by the july 1st timeline, and probably october is more realistic. those are my thoughts. one other option is to reserve a part of these positions, given that the information from the assessor's office. colleagues, thoughts? supervisor chiu? supervisor chiu: i am open to the possibility of putting a portion of these on reserve, to understand what the time lines are and what these successes are of the current team. we will see where that goes. we are all very sensitive to how all -- how much we have to take all the cuts that we can, but also we do not want to cut off our nose to spite our face, and
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this may be important incremental dollars that could be significant for revenues. i am open to putting some portion on reserve. supervisor kim: i think i am in general agreement. a thing which should adopt the amendment, pushing the -- i think we should adopt the general amendment, pushing the positions to october 1. i would like to see more on the difference between the budget and the legislative analyst in our office. there are a lot of services we want to restore. i also want to hear from the assessor's office. if it is going to be bringing more revenue to our city, i do not want to jeopardize that. supervisor chu: than